La Grande looks to avoid 0-5 start
La Grande head football coach Kenny Mace said the Tigers played their best football in a year-and-a-half last week against Burns.
“We’re trying to use it as a teaching tool,” Mace said. “This is an evolution, not a fast-food fix. We’re having to teach the basics of the game to these kids.”
La Grande (0-4) wraps up its non-league schedule tonight against visiting Weiser, Idaho, at 7 p.m. at Community Stadium.
The Wolverines enter with a 1-3 record overall after falling to Homedale, Idaho, 28-19 last week. The lone win for Weiser this season came against Greater Oregon League member Ontario.
Mace said that Weiser has a good football tradition and this year’s team has a solid running game.
“Weiser always produces pretty darn good running backs,” Mace said. “We’re going to have to have a solid night tackling against them.”
La Grande went to the air last week and found some success, with quarterback Brandon Dall completing 11-of-18 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns. Dall is starting to develop a good connection with freshmen Alec Cranford and Isaiah Cranford, two 6-foot-5 wideouts.
“We’re pretty blessed,” Mace said. “We have four wide receivers, two outside guys and two slots, who can dunk it. We’ve been working with Brandon on chemistry, and it finally came last week.”
Mace said that while the passing game is improving, he’d still like to be able to run the ball against Weiser.
“You can’t have one without the other,” Mace said.
He does want to continue to play with an up-tempo attack.
“I want to see if Weiser can run with us for 48 minutes,” Mace said. “I also want to try and get our offense a few extra touches by creating turnovers, something we’ve done every game.”
After tonight’s game, the Tigers start the GOL schedule on the road at Baker next week.
La Grande will then finish the season with two home games against Ontario and McLoughlin.
• TODAY: Weiser, Idaho, at La Grande, 7 p.m.
• LAST TIME OUT: La Grande lost to Burns, 25-22. Weiser lost to Homedale, Idaho, 28-19.
• MEDIA: Game coverage will be available on 99.9 FM KWRL. Pregame starts at 6:45 p.m.
• RECORDS: La Grande 0-4; Weiser 1-3
• PLAYER TO WATCH: Brandon Dall, quarterback, La Grande. Dall had one of his better games of the season last week. He completed 11-of-18 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns against Burns.
• HE SAID IT: “We’re trying to use it as a teaching tool. This is an evolution, not a fast-food fix. We’re having to teach the basics of the game to these kids.”— La Grande head coach Kenny Mace
• AROUND THE GOL: Vale at Baker, 8 p.m.; Burns at Ontario, 7 p.m; Nyssa at McLoughlin, 7 p.m.